Although I have written about James Wilson before, I couldn’t let the chance of writing about his recent performance in an U-21 game at Wolves pass
The game was switched from Telford back to Molineux, giving the young lads an opportunity to play at a proper League stadium instead of some of the non-league pits they play on.
Wilson was back in the team following a bout of illness, an illness that has subsequently kept him out of games since
The game was barely 10 minutes old when United had a glorious chance to open the scoring. The excellent Ben Pearson won a tackle he looked second best for, broke into the Wolves box, sidestepped a defender and played an inch perfect pass for Andreas Pereira who was unmarked about 10 yards out. Somehow, Pereira rushed his shot and scuffed it harmlessly wide of the goal, a really poor attempt by a very skilful player.
He showed what great skill he does possess a short time later when he broke forward and into the box, very tightly marked by 5 defenders who surrounded him. He twisted and turned, dragged the ball back with his studs and somehow found room to dig out a curling shot that looked destined for the net but drifted just wide. It would have been a contender for goal of the season had it gone in.
The next chance fell to Wilson after Saidy Janko had beaten the full back for pace and hit a low cross perfectly for the onrushing Wilson, on his favourite left foot, but his crisp shot was pushed away by the Wolves keeper.
The first half finished goalless but that was soon to change once Wilson got going.
The ever improving Joe Rothwell played the ball to Wilson, tightly marked and with his back to goal about 30 yards out. He turned on a sixpence, strode forward and with no backlift hit a shot across the baffled keeper and into the bottom corner. It really was a goal out of nothing but something he has done many times before.
Soon after, Pearson played a ball into Wilson, in the area but a defender was between Wilson and the net. No problem for this boy, his deft left foot touch left the defender well beaten and he smashed a right foot shot into the net, all too quick for the keeper who never moved. It sounds a simple goal but the execution of the goal was superb.
He wasn’t finished yet and when Janko got into the area and his cross was only deflected straight to the unmarked Wilson, he made no mistake by hammering another right foot shot past the bemused keeper.
The game finished 3-0 but it was the master class of goalscoring for which the game will be remembered.
I cant stress enough how much I rate this lad. I’ve seen dozens of young forwards over the last 25 years of watching the Youth team and none have come close to making the impression on me as Wilson has.
Of course he is far from the finished article but I am judging him on where he is now in his footballing education and the progress he has made over the last couple of years. He still needs to put some meat on his bones and maybe improve his passing but if he can carry on as he has, and stay clear of injuries, I am certain we are looking at a Manchester United first team player of the future.
Made in Manchester is available for just £3. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.